A.D. – Athens has seen many a “movement” from the early days of The B-52s and R.E.M. to Widespread Panic and the rise of the Elephant 6 Collective in the ‘90s. Presently, The Whigs, Modern Skirts, Phosphorescent, etc, etc seem to be part of an Athens musical renaissance. How would you describe your towns most recent and burgeoning music scene?
Parker Gispert – I think it is definitely a very different thing right now. The Elephant Six was obviously a closer group who were instrumental parts of each other’s records. From producing to performing, etc. I think the scene now is made up (at least from an outside perspective) of a lot of kickass bands in different realms. There is a great jam scene and a great experimental scene right now as well as hardass math-rocking bands like Cinemachanica. Obviously these bands don’t collaborate in the same way that Elephant Six, etc. did, but nevertheless, it is making for a special scene.
A.D. – How has being “an Athens band” affected your sound? Have Athens artists, past or present, played into your influences?
P.G. – The Elephant Six had an everlasting influence on me. I am a huge fan of the Olivia Tremor Control, Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, etc. Those bands are the reason I wanted to come to Athens and make music and for that I am forever thankful. The Glands have probably had the biggest direct influence on me. Ross Shapiro is the songwriter I look up to the most and he lives in our town / sells me records at the local CD store. Unreal.
A.D. – Day to day, what, if any, changes do you anticipate with your recent signing to ATO Records?
P.G. – Other than all the bitches and blow… limos and the Olympic size swimming pool I put in my back yard, not a whole lot.
A.D. – Were you talking to other labels? What factors played into choosing ATO?
P.G. – Not really. Things were going great with us doing the record ourselves and we weren’t in a hurry to work with anyone who we weren’t going to have fun with. ATO is comprised of good fellows who have a positive attitude towards what is important in music. Those things being… the music, and not how cool our video is, or how cool I am dressed. Which by the way, is not very cool.
A.D. – What are your plans (musically) for the remainder of 2006? With ATO re-releasing Big Fat Lip, do you have immediate plans to get back into the studio for a follow-up?
P.G. – We will hit it in there when we feel the songs are done. We are currently writing on the road, literally, in the van as we drive down the road. Our plan is to continue playing shows through Thanksgiving, then focus on writing songs we are happy with. The plan is to record the record in early February.
A.D. – What Athens eatery/bar do you miss the most while out on the road touring?
P.G. – This is the best question I have been asked in quite some time. I would have to say Calientintos. Formerly, Caliente Cab, formerly Pollo Criollo. Salvadorian food at its finest. The Grit and Five Star Day are close seconds with La Parilla closely behind, I ate some ridiculously right on Mexican food at Maudi’s in Austin and have found Mexican restarunts a let down ever since. La Parillla is the exception. Everyone’s hometown Mexican place has a special place in their heart. Who am I? How can I leave out Last Resort. That place rules. Oh and Farm 255 is a beatass organic place.
MP3: The Whigs :: Don’t Talk Anymore
MP3: The Whigs :: Technology
eMusic: The Whigs – Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip
www.whigs.net ++++ myspace.com/thewhigs
The Whigs :: These Guys Are Good
The Whigs :: ATO Record Deal
Daily Blast From The Past:
MP3: Paul McCartney :: Every Night